Ailwen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change, including many immigrants with new names. Among these were the ancestors of the Ailwen family, whose name comes from the Old English personal names Alfwin, and Elwin, as well a collection of other names containing the elements oelf, which means elf, and wine, which means friend.
Etherlwine, Aethelwine or Ailwin (died 922), was a Saxon ealdorman (royal official) of East Anglia, fourth and youngest son of the ealdorman Aethelstan, called the Half-king. 
Early Origins of the Ailwen family
The surname Ailwen was first found in Devon where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Alwinetone, later called Alwington. In the Domesday Book Survey of 1086 A.D. this village containing 120 sheep and houses was held by Hamelin from the Count of Mortain, from which the Alwins are conjecturally descended.
One of the first records of the family was Henry Fitz Ailwyn, Lord Mayor of London (1189-1211.)
Early History of the Ailwen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ailwen research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1130, 1175, 1564 and 1499 are included under the topic Early Ailwen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ailwen Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Alwin, Alwyn, Elwyn, Elwyn, Elvin, Elvins, Elvyn, Alvin, Allwin, Allwyn, Ellwyn, Ellwin and many more.
Early Notables of the Ailwen family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Ailwen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ailwen family
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Ailwen or a variant listed above: John Alvin who landed in America in 1698; Jacob Alwin landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1741; William Elvyn landed in St. Christopher in 1635; John and William Elvins landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1853 and 1857.